Paul commends Phoebe, who is a female deacon. He greets other individuals. He tells them to avoid divisive people. And he concludes this great letter. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae,
Phoebe, our sister. This is speaking of a woman, not a man.
who is a. When Paul mentions several people by name, his most important person comes first. Here, the first person he mentions is Phoebe. She must have been a real hero of the faith!
servant. The Greek word is διάκονον (“diakonon”). It means a waiter, servant, administrator.
In our Christian context, it means deacon. Phoebe is a female deacon, and she is named in the Bible!
The Bible and the Jewish tradition and the early Christians accept female prophets. How anti-biblical that most of us Christians and our modern-day denominations do not:
VERSE 2. that you receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you, for she herself also has been a helper of many, and of my own self.
a helper of many, and of my own self. Her specialness to Paul is captivating. We wish we knew more about her!
assist her in whatever matter she may need. They were to contribute to the financial support of Phoebe, a female deacon.
VERSE 3. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
VERSE 4. who for my life, laid down their own necks; to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles.
VERSE 5. Greet the assembly that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ.
VERSE 6. Greet Mary, who labored much for us.
VERSE 7. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners, who are notable among the apostles, who were also in Christ before me.
notable among the apostles. We have not heard of these two previously. Yet Paul counts them among the apostles.
Paul’s use of the term “apostle” is not restricted to the twelve. Perhaps by this point in the biblical narrative there were many who went by that title.
VERSE 8. Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.
VERSE 9. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.
VERSE 10. Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.
VERSE 11. Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet them of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.
Narcissus. What a curious name.
VERSE 12. Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet Persis, the beloved, who labored much in the Lord.
VERSE 13. Greet Rufus, the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
VERSE 14. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers † who are with them.
VERSE 15. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
VERSE 16. Greet one another with a holy kiss. The assemblies of Christ greet you.
VERSE 17. Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.
look out for those who are causing the divisions. In our day there are many Christians who are experts in causing sharp divisions and dissentions. Some are official leaders, while others are laypeople.
turn away from them. We are to stay away from divisive people. They are probably not capable of changing their ways. Those who try to help them find that they only get dragged down themselves.
VERSE 18. For those who are such don’t serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the innocent.
don’t serve our Lord. Divisive people are not doing God’s bidding, but their own.
VERSE 19. For your obedience has become known to all. I rejoice therefore over you. But I desire to have you wise in that which is good, but innocent in that which is evil.
VERSE 20. And the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
VERSE 21. Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives.
VERSE 22. I, Tertius, who write the letter, greet you in the Lord.
VERSE 23. Gaius, my host and host of the whole assembly, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, as does Quartus, the brother.
VERSE 24. Now to him who is able to establish you according to my Good News and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret through long ages,
establish you. Many translations render this as “strengthen.” The gospel of Jesus Christ can make us strong!
VERSE 25. but now is revealed, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known for obedience of faith to all the nations;
Sirach 1:8. There is one wise, greatly to be feared, The Lord sitting upon his throne:
Romans 16:26. to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
Jude 1:25. to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.